Subject: Shiny wasp-moth?
Location: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
December 4, 2012 12:44 pm
Took a picture of this cool-looking dude at a friend’s apartment in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico at the beginning of December. Around an inch in length, and completely unafraid/uncaring of my camera.
I’ve done some digging and some people have suggested I check Sessidae or Euchromiina, but I haven’t had much luck in finding this specific guy yet.
You got good advice. We identified this Euchromiinid as Nyridela chalciope on the Moth Photographer Groups Moths of Puerto Rico Moths section. We then confirmed its identity on the Moths of Jamaica website where we read that: “Method of identification: description in Hampson (1898) p. 219 (as corrected by Forbes (1930)) and comparison with black and white illustration of similar N. xanthocera in Hampson (1898).
Notes: this species is virtually identical to N. xanthocera, except that the antennae are completely yellow in the case of xanthocera whereas in chalciope they are black along most of their length and only yellow at their apices .” Based on that description, it would appear that you have Nyridela xanthocera and the Belize Moths website appears to confirm that. Moth PHotographers Group Antilles Checklist only includes N. chalciope and not N. xanthocera, so we will have to backtrack and say that this is Nyridela chalciope. The mounted specimen on the Harvard University’s Caribbean Insects page has all yellow antennae. We are going to trust Harvard on this one despite some conflicting information in other places. Though the species name may be debatable, we are at least confident we have the correct genus.
That was very quick and thorough! Thanks for the help, I’ll let the guys at the WhatsThisBug subreddit (where I initially posted the picture) know the answer–they were just as stumped on the species. I carry my camera everywhere, and I always jump at the opportunity to take pictures of strange critters I stumble upon– you’ll definitely hear from me again!
Can you please provide us with a link to WhatsThisBug because we are curious about our competition.
No problem. Reddit is the biggest forum on the internet, and is populated by thousands of very specific subforums on every topic imaginable (from video gaming to politics to celebrities to sciences). One such sub-reddit is What’s This Bug?, at http://reddit.com/r/whatsthisbug . You post an image and location, and the visitors of the forum will try and help with identification. Most are hobbyists and aficionados, not entomologists–they just really like bugs!
Thanks for the information Eduardo.